When we focus our attention on what is occurring around us, a harsh reality surfaces. In response, we realize that there is a lot of work to be done, for hidden beneath that surface, many opportunities exist. We stop to think and we realize that the desire to change and start anew is born unto us, but unfortunately, the resources to do so aren’t always readily available.
Because of this, we decided it was our social responsibility to begin aiding in the development of Guatemala. To make this possible, we founded la Asociación Profesional de Desarrollo Sostenible (APRODESO) which translates to “The Professional Association of Sustainable Development.” Ten percent of all profits earned here at CBA are utilized by this non-profit organization in order to carry out various local, sustainable development projects. As stated earlier, resources are of fundamental importance at the inception of any type of development project. Since we believe in truly sustainable development, we effectively promote the employment of abstract resources, such as the willingness to work and succeed, rather than the unsustainable exhaustion of material resources.
1. TIENDA ANTENA AMERINDIA
By founding the store “Antena Amerindia,” CBA and APRODESO have successfully created a network of productive partnerships from the southwestern Guatemalan departments of: Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán, Sololá and San Marcos. The store, located at the front of the Spanish school, helps producers and workers from disadvantaged communities by connecting their talents, in the form of goods and services, with the consumer market located here in Xela. Additionally, the store manages to promote fairer trade relations while offering a variety of high quality goods and services, all of which help to minimize poverty and improve the overall quality of life here in Guatemala, both directly and indirectly.
Another main objective of “la Tienda Antena Amerindia” is the creation of globally accepted products that reflect pride in the local culture and community and demonstrating to others that these locally sourced products can truly have a lasting global impact. We support this pride by not charging these producers and workers to display their products; we only ask them to make to time receive constructive criticism and to participate in marketing workshops.
2. COOPERATIVA COMERCIO R. L.
By maintaining our vision of promoting the social and economic development of our friends, families and communities, we saw the necessity of forming a savings and credit cooperative to give opportunities to individuals who lack financial backing. Thanks to CBA, APRODESO and the cooperative’s founders, this has been made possible. Boasting over 600 members, this cooperative has been quite successful!
Cooperativa Comercio R.L. focuses on providing financial support to economically disadvantaged individuals who either aren’t qualified to receive traditional loans or refuse to conform to the unethical interest rates provided by more traditional lenders. In addition to the loans provided, the contribution of technical support and marketing advice allows these members to aid in the development of Guatemala’s agricultural, industrial and commercial industries.
3. PROYECTO ECONÓMICO PARA PACUTAMÁ SECTOR II.
Hurricane Stan devastated the rural community of Pacutama. Responding to this, CBA and APRODESO decided construct a community oven and grain mill so that Pacutama’s citizens could provide themselves with basic alimentation. In addition to this, seeds were donated to local farmers to replant plots of damaged crops.
4. PROYECTO COMUNIDAD PILA VIEJA, OLINTEPEQUE.
In the community Pila Vieja, CBA hosted a workshop that taught approximately 60 individuals how to hand make various crafts, baskets, textiles, jewelry and embroidery.
5. COOPERATIVA AGRICOLA
This new project is currently under development. As of yet, it’s composed of 35 members with scarce resources. The future goal is to buy a large plot of land in which all members would manage a certain section or carry out a certain responsibility while productively working under the principles of a community development model.
6. TURISMO COMUNITARIO
Another project currently under development is the expansion of tourism to rural communities surrounding Quetzaltenango. In “el Valle Palajunoj, Quetzaltenango,” various tourist routes have been marked as potential gateways to economic development in these surrounding communities. Such potential tourist routes are:
- Alternative medicine tourism
- Cultural tourism
The objective is to empower these communities’ cultural identities by helping them recognize the rich culture that exists right in front of them. Currently, citizens of these communities are receiving training workshops on tourism so that they are the true agents of their own development.
1. PROYECTOS EDUCATIVOS:
CBA and APRODESO help support “las Entidades Territoriales Certificadas” along with teachers and school administrators so that a better understanding of basic educational needs and easier access to these needs are developed. In order to provide these basic needs, CBA and APRODESO have taken various measures. In Pila Vieja, Olintepeque, they have provided desks, blackboards, textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, a library and sports equipment. In el Valle Palajunoj, “educational bags” containing notebooks, pens, pencils, colored pencils and clothing have also been donated. In the community of Pacutama Sector II, CBA and APRODESO helped construct a school in the aftermath of Hurricane Stan.
2. CONSTRUCCION DE CASAS.
CBA and APRODESO successfully managed to obtain funding that helped construct 25 houses in the community of Pacutama Sector II after Hurricane Stan.
3. PROYECTO JORNADAS MÉDICAS EN OLINTEPEQUE, QUETZALTENANGO Y SAN CRISTOBAL, TOTONICAPÁN
CBA, APRODESO and CONDESCOM (Consultores para el Desarrollo de la Comunidad) started carrying out medical missions after realizing that the medical coverage wasn’t meeting the demand in the local communities of Olintepeque, San Cristobal and Totonicapán. Even though there are plenty of clinics available in these communities, only those with an abundance of economic resources can access these facilities. In the first medical mission that took place in January of 2016, 1050 patients were treated; in June of 2016, 898 were treated. Four medical missions are scheduled for 2017.
CBA and APRODESO are also currently developing a scholarship program for talented children that are passionate about their education. This scholarship program will serve talented individuals in the communities of Sector Mendez, Momostenango, Santo Domingo, Colomba and Quetzaltenango.
5. PROYECTO MEDIOAMBIENTAL
Since 2009, CBA and APRODESO periodically host reforestation projects. With the help of students, teachers and local communities, approximately 27,000 trees in the communities of Llano del Pinal, Chuicavioc and Altamira have been planted!